A new campaign has been launched to find Scotland’s best diversified farm, with judges seeking innovative diversified farms which operate alongside day-to-day farming practices.
The award is open to any Scottish farm and looks to celebrate businesses which have invested in time and resource to develop an additional income stream.
Judges say they want to see a wide range of applicants who can demonstrate excellent customer service, collaboration, support for their community and a willingness to adapt to the changing landscape.
SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), is sponsoring the award at the event, and applicants have until 14 August to enter the competition.
Last year's award was won by Ardross Farm in Fife, which is a 380-acre tenanted unit, run by the Pollock family, who contract farm a further 1000 acres and grass lets.
With 120 cattle, 130 sheep, mixed cereals, beans and vegetables, they saw an opportunity to open their own farm shop, supplying produce direct to their customers.
Sascha Grierson, principal consultant at SAC Consulting, said the judges would be casting the net wide to attract and discover a range of different diversified businesses across the country.
“We are delighted to once again be supporting the ‘Diversified Farm of the Year’ award for the third year in a row," she said.
“Whether your business is operating a meat box scheme, farm shop, vending machines, holiday cottage, wellness retreat, cookery school or clothing and textile business, to name but a few, they all contribute to Scotland’s economy.
"Winners and finalists will receive widespread recognition, offering the opportunity of new customers, increased sales and a chance to celebrate all they have achieved.”
Shortlisted applicants will receive a visit from the judges, with the winners announced in October at an awards dinner at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow.
Last year’s winner Claire Pollock will be on the judging panel this time round and has urged farmers to enter the competition.
“We were thrilled to have won the AgriScot ‘Diversified Farm of the Year’ Award last time out, and it gave us a lot of confidence that we were on the right track in the development of the Ardross Farm project.
“Meeting other farmers during our journey with the award has been encouraging and inspiring, giving us ideas on how to improve. We are proud of what we do, and we are constantly learning.
"I am looking forward to judging the entries for this year’s award and encourage anyone considering entering, to get involved as soon as they can.”
Applications for the award close on 14 August.